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Gates returns to Kent State to have jersey retired

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    [​IMG]

    Scott Yoffe
    3-1-2010


    Antonio Gates had his number-44 jersey Kent State jersey retired this weekend, helping inspire his alma mater to a 66-58 win over Mid-American Conference rival Miami of Ohio.

    Antonio Gates[​IMG] was back in a familiar setting on Saturday night at the M.A.C. Center on the campus of his alma mater, Kent State University.
    Gates was there to have his collegiate No. 44 jersey retired by the school during a ceremony at halftime. It will now permanently hang from the rafters in the M.A.C. Center.
    After bouncing around among several schools, Gates settled at Kent State for the 2001-02 and ’02-03 seasons. As a junior, he led the Golden Flashes on a magical run through the NCAA tournament that took the squad as far as the NCAA’s Elite Eight. Gates, who’d given up on football to focus on a career in basketball after being denied the chance to play both as a freshman at Michigan State, helped KSU to a school-record 30-6 mark for the 2001-02 season. He averaged 20.6 points per game during that junior season and led the Golden Flashes to NCAA Tournament wins over three Top-25 teams, including No. 20 Oklahoma State, No. 8 Alabama and No. 7 Pittsburgh. The Golden Flashes special season also included their first-ever regular-season conference title, a 17-1 mark in league play and a conference-record 21 consecutive victories. A year later, he closed out his Kent State career by earning honorable mention All-America honors from the Associated Press.
    The honor was an emotional moment for Gates.
    “Kent State has done so much for me,” Gates told the Cleveland Plain Dealer over the weekend. “The man I was when I left Kent State is not the person I was when I got to Kent State. That is what makes the whole thing special to me.”
    Gates’ NFL career has been well-documented. After leaving Kent State, he signed with the Chargers as an undrafted free agent. In the seven seasons since, he’s gone on to become a six-time Pro Bowl selection and a three-time first-team All-Pro. Gates is coming off a career-best 1,157-yard season, one in which he led all NFL tight ends with a 14.6 yards per catch average.
    Gates’ career in San Diego has mirrored that of Hall of Fame tight end Kellen Winslow. Gates already has more touchdown catches (59) than Winslow (45), and in 2010, he’ll very likely surpass Winslow’s career reception and yardage totals. And Gates’ 59 touchdown catches are not only the most-ever by a Chargers tight end, but they are the fourth-most all-time among all NFL tight ends.
    Kent State went on to win the game on Saturday night, defeating Mid-American Conference rival Miami (Ohio), 66-58, to improve to 22-8 overall and 12-3 in conference play. It was a key win in a season that appears to be headed for yet another NCAA Tournament berth for the Golden Flashes.
     
  2. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

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    That's awesome. So glad to have Gates on this team. His story and career are just amazing and awe-inspiring to everyone. He's definitely somebody you could make a movie about. Undrafted FA goes to the Pro Bowl, didn't play college football, etc. Even non-Charger fans have to admit it's amazing sports story.
     
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  3. Workplay

    Workplay scompl

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    An amazing story marred by the fact that he was not allowed to play both sports in college. If the kid wants to be a dual or multi-sport athelete, he should be allowed to. Even in high school we were forced to choose between basketball and football.
    I chose football, but if some of the guys on the basketball team were allowed to play football, we might have won more than four games in two seasons.
    Antonio Gates is even more proof that one guy can be a star in multiple sports.
     
  4. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    The Chargers and us fans are blessed to have this guy on the team. Happy for him, anytime someone say "no one will ever wear YOUR number again", that is indeed quite the honor.
     
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  5. PowderLove

    PowderLove Former Mod, Current Slacker

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    uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Miami of Ohio?
     

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